ESG

Kjell & Company has a clear ESG agenda with highly ambitious targets for its own operations and for others in the Company’s value chain. The Company’s ESG agenda revolves around clearly set targets in three areas included in the ESG concept. These are climate, social sustainability and corporate governance.  

Sustainability impact in the value chain 

The greatest environmental impact in the value chain is from the materials used in products, transportation from Asia to Europe and waste related to end products and packaging. Throughout the value chain and also among its own staff, the Company monitors its impact on social aspects, such as working conditions and human rights, particularly in Asia. As a brand owner with a large share of products from Asia, the Company upholds high integrity to pursue a policy of zero tolerance toward bribery and other forms of corruption.  

A summary of sustainability impact in the value chain is presented below: 

ESG risks and opportunities

The Company’s product offering makes, given its very nature, rigorous demands on product safety and quality, primarily with regard to materials and production but also on use by end consumers. This therefore makes rigorous demands on production methods and quality control, as well as requirements for a high level of expertise among staff to teach consumers safe use. Transparency in communication, responsible and ethical purchasing, and compliance with specific laws and regulations for products, become proportionally more relevant in terms of customer awareness and consequently increase market requirements in terms of safety and quality. 

By actively searching and prioritising the assortment and products, Kjell & Company has a unique opportunity to provide its customers with new, energy-efficient products, and other ways to help reduce the energy consumption of its customers. As a retailer of accessories, and to a certain degree spare parts, a replacement adapter sold by the Company, for example, can extend the life of the main product and thus create less waste compared with if the customer had purchased a new product.  

Environmental risks include abnormal weather conditions, such as above average heat and precipitation, and negative climate change, which could impact operations. Kjell & Company continuously monitors its carbon footprint from transportation, both domestic and international. The Company strives to use its nationwide store network as delivery hubs to reduce lead times and emissions. In addition, Kjell & Company has knowledge of its exposure to the impact of climate change and therefore reduces this risk through geographic diversification. The Company believes these activities will attract the conscious customers of the future as they intend to strengthen the perception of Kjell & Company as a sustainable brand. 

Kjell & Company’s ESG initiatives 2020 

PRIMARY ESG TARGETS 2020 

INITIATIVES 2020 

OUTCOMES 2020 

1. Consumption: Product quality and safety 

  • The ambition was to reduce returns of own brands to 1.5% and have 100% documentation in terms of the compliance of new items with applicable regulations, regardless of the product’s country of origin 
  • Stricter controls were implemented to identify high rates of return. One person was employed to use half of their working hours to collect and verify documentation 
  • Ambition to reduce energy consumption in comparable stores 
  • Returns of own brands: 2020: 0.8%
    2019: 1.7% 
  • Documentation of compliance of new items with applicable regulations:
    2020: 89% 
    2019: 58% 
  • Energy consumption in kWh/m2 in comparable stores
    Target 2021: 14.9
    2020: 15.0 
    2019: 15.3 

2. Production: Working conditions and human rights in the distribution chain 

  • The ambition was to audit the compliance of the code of conduct of all new suppliers of own brands and to follow up all existing suppliers’ corrective action plans and to have 90% of all active European suppliers having signed the code of conduct 
  • 80 working days spread across four inspectors were allocated for inspections. One person spent one third of their working hours to get the code of conduct documentation signed 
  • Suppliers in China who signed the code of conduct:
    Target 2021: 100%
    2020: 100%
    2019: 100% 
  • Suppliers in Europe who signed the code of conduct:
    Target 2021: 100%
    2020: 93%
    2019: 62% 
  • All 38 new suppliers were audited in 2020. 134 products required a follow-up with regards to action plans, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic only 111 were carried out 

3. Production: Reduce environmental impact 

  • The ambition was to increase the share of climate-compensated online purchase deliveries to 100% and start measuring material use in own brands as a step to reduce the use of plastic  
  • Agreements were signed with logistics companies for online deliveries in order for them to climate-compensate transportation on behalf of Kjell & Company. For each forwarding agent who failed to provide this, Kjell & Company invested in climate compensation for a corresponding value from Vi-skogen1. No plastic was permitted in the packaging of new products and recurring order packaging were rectified insofar as this was financially sustainable 
  • Outbound online purchase deliveries that were climate compensated:
    2020: 100%
    2019: 15% 
  • Use of plastic in packaging of own brands:
    2020: 13%
    2019: 22% 

4. Relationships: Motivated and satisfied employees in a diverse environment 

  • The ambition was to raise eNPS to 60 and contribute to diversity in the workplace by increasing the share of female employees to 21%. In addition, the objective was also to keep absence rates at 3%  
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, focus shifted from new initiatives to ensuring the safety of employees and customers in service points. Given the increased uncertainty faced by the Company during the year, it became necessary to increase focus on protecting the Company’s future operations 
  • eNPS
    Target 2021: 60
    2020: 47
    2019: 44 
  • Female employees
    Target 2021: 25%
    2020: 20%
    2019: 19% 
  • Absence (increase due to stricter rules concerning sick leave)
    2020: 5%
    2019: 3% 

5. Relationships: Business integrity and transparency 

  • The ambition was to improve relationships with the Company’s customers by implementing a new method to measure customer satisfaction in all channels 
  • Completed anti-corruption training with all personnel in the procurement and assortment departments and the Company’s employees in China 
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, initiatives to measure customer satisfaction in all channels will be resumed in 2021 
  • Completed anti-corruption training
    Target 2021: 100%
    2020: Not conducted due to the COVID-19 pandemic
    2019: 100% 

 

Primary ESG targets 2021 

PRIMARY ESG TARGETS 2021 

AMBITIONS 2021 

1. Climate: Reduce the Company’s CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 relative to the Company’s sales 

  • Reduce the volume of waste produced in the Company’s value chain through greater source separation/sorting in all service points  
    • First step to measure the total volume of waste from operations 
  • Reduce energy use at the Company’s service points and offices by continuing the roll-out of LED lighting at service points. By the end of 2021, 95% of the Company’s service points will be updated with LED lighting  
    • The Company is working to measure its total CO2 impact and as a first step the Company will monitor energy use. The initial savings will be achieved through smarter energy use at service points and by replacing lighting  
  • Reduce the share of plastic used in packaging of own brands from 13% in 2020 to 5% in 2021. In 2019, the proportion was 22% 
    • Through structured work with own brands, the Company will gradually phase out all non-biodegradable plastic in Kjell & Company’s product packaging. Measured as share of shipped goods per year 

2. Employees: Be considered a fair and safe employer that offers good opportunities for personal and career development 

  • Satisfied and motivated employees – increase eNPS from 47 in 2020 to 60 in 2021 
    • Through greater transparency in Kjell & Company’s plans and increased focus on leadership, the Company wants to improve general well-being at the Company 
  • A workplace that reflects the diversity of society: 10% of the Company’s employees are to have a background from another country than their current work location 
    • Kjell & Company has zero tolerance of discrimination and the issue of diversity is important for the Company. Diversity is an asset in creating a dynamic and creative workplace that reflects the diversity of the Company’s customer base 
  • The share of female employees raised from 20% in 2020 to 25% in 2021 
    • Set up a separate leadership programme for the Company’s female sales personnel to address the different challenges faced by men/women in today’s technology society. Continue work with Employee branding to attract more female job applicants and subsequently increase opportunities to employ more women. In central positions, the distribution of women/men shall be 50%  

3. Business ethics and controls: Set an example in terms of business ethics and social responsibility 

  • Conducted anti-corruption training with all personnel in the procurement and assortment departments and the Company’s employees in China 
    • Ensure regular education/training and follow-up of personnel who work in positions with a greater risk of corruption 
  • Code of conduct signed by 100% of suppliers 
    • Ensure that all suppliers comply with the business ethics expected by the Company. In some cases, will be approved by equivalent documentation of a similar nature from the supplier, such as for Google and Apple. The code of conduct must be signed before selling starts for new items 
  • 100% correct documentation linked to all new items 
    • Continued work to ensure documentation comply with the regulations required to sell the products in each market. The documentation must be ready when sales commence and will be prioritised according to the risk associated with each product 

 

Recognition of Kjell & Company’s sustainability work 

Kjell & Company has a highly respected ESG agenda. In a report published by Ungdomsbarometern, electronics and technology brands were ranked based on which brands had the best sustainability work. Kjell & Company was ranked number five, which was the highest rating for a Nordic player in consumer electronics accessories. The only companies that ranked higher were Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and Electrolux. 

According to Ungdomsbarometern, 44% of respondents consider ESG more now than before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 87% of respondents indicate that they consider ESG to be very important or quite important. The most important ESG areas include sustainable products and packaging, an environmentally-sound manufacturing process, fair working conditions, equality regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation and reduced mental illness among employees. Kjell & Company strives continuously to improve its ESG profile and in 2021 the Company is prioritising objectives in areas such as product safety, production conditions, environmental impact, equality and integrity. One clear example of Kjell & Company’s sustainability work is that the Company identified in 2019 an opportunity to use surplus plastic from production to create new products. As a result of the initiative, a charging cable for mobile phones manufactured from surplus plastic was launched. 

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